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Bodog Shut Down: Sports Gambling Site's Founder Calvin Ayre Indicted

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 28, 2012 2:47 PM

Bad news sports betters — online sports gambling site Bodog has been shut down.

Federal authorities have indicted Calvin Ayre, the site’s Canadian founder, along with three other foreign executives. The group has been accused of conducting an illegal international sports gambling business and conspiring to commit money laundering.

Records show Bodog wired at least $100 million to gamblers located in Maryland and elsewhere in the United States.

Bodog appears to be a wholly foreign corporation. Employees work all over the world, dealing with bets, tracking sports events and initiating financial transactions, according to Bloomberg. However, the company stepped into legal hot water when it allegedly paid betters and spent $42 million on advertisements in the U.S.

Maryland law prohibits online sports gambling. And federal law prohibits the transportation, transmission or transfer of funds to a place in the United States from a foreign country "with the intent to promote the carrying on of a specified unlawful activity."

The $100 million in betting payouts? It came from foreign accounts and was transferred with the intent to promote unlawful online sports betting in Maryland. The $42 million in advertising fees? Again, it came from foreign accounts and was designed to attract U.S. betters to the site.

Given these facts, the Bodog shut down is not surprising to those paying close attention to online gambling law. Plus, the government had been investigating the site for years, so it was only a matter of time before they asked a grand jury to shut down the site and indict Calvin Ayre.

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